[FoRK] Ithaca, indeed :)

Luis Villa < luis.villa at gmail.com > on > Thu Jun 8 20:33:00 PDT 2006

On 6/8/06, Owen Byrne <owen at permafrost.net> wrote:
> I found this piece and this other similar piece  -
> http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/06/how_to_kick_sil.html
>
>  - kinda insular and self-serving. How to innovate? - the only way is
> the way we did it. I found Paul Graham's mention of Detroit evocative -
> once upon a time Detroit was an innovative place (and the main driver of
> the US economy), then suddenly it wasn't. What happened? Did
> Especially since there are people
> (http://www.isc.hbs.edu/econ-clusters.htm) who have done systematic
> research on just this subject, rather than just pontificating.
> Its interesting that these similar pieces appeared so close together. It
> seems like the hype is at a peak now. In 2002 these would be laughable.
> I suspect they'll be laughable again in 2007.

Would they have been laughable in 2002? Would you still have wanted to
start a company anywhere else?

[Mind you, I think the 37 SIgnals guys make a strong case that you can
start a respectable company in this day and age with neither an office
nor VC.]

Luis
>
>
> Rohit Khare wrote:
> > http://www.paulgraham.com/siliconvalley.html
> >
> >> I think you only need two kinds of people to create a technology hub:
> >> rich people and nerds. They're the limiting reagents in the reaction
> >> that produces startups, because they're the only ones present when
> >> startups get started. Everyone else will move.
> >>
> >> Observation bears this out: within the US, towns have become startup
> >> hubs if and only if they have both rich people and nerds. Few
> >> startups happen in Miami, for example, because although it's full of
> >> rich people, it has few nerds. It's not the kind of place nerds like.
> >>
> >> Whereas Pittsburgh has the opposite problem: plenty of nerds, but no
> >> rich people. The top US Computer Science departments are said to be
> >> MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Carnegie-Mellon. MIT yielded Route 128.
> >> Stanford and Berkeley yielded Silicon Valley. But Carnegie-Mellon?
> >> The record skips at that point. Lower down the list, the University
> >> of Washington yielded a high-tech community in Seattle, and the
> >> University of Texas at Austin yielded one in Austin. But what
> >> happened in Pittsburgh? And in Ithaca, home of Cornell, which is also
> >> high on the list?
> >>
> >> I grew up in Pittsburgh and went to college at Cornell, so I can
> >> answer for both. The weather is terrible, particularly in winter, and
> >> there's no interesting old city to make up for it, as there is in
> >> Boston. Rich people don't want to live in Pittsburgh or Ithaca. So
> >> while there are plenty of hackers who could start startups, there's
> >> no one to invest in them.
> >>
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